The Campaign Spot

Doesn’t Anybody Poll Likely Voters in Virginia Anymore?

Over on Politico, they’re touting a new poll in Virginia that has Democrat Creigh Deeds within 4 percentage points.
Of course, the Washington Post poll from this weekend showed the same margin. Also, I found this detail surprising:

The poll showed stronger party support for Deeds than McDonnell. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats said they back Deeds, compared to 79 percent of Republicans who would vote for McDonnell. Among Independents, McDonnell leads by a significant margin, 55-33 percent.

Hey, it’s your voter model, guys, but if a guy in a purple state leads independents by 22 percentage points, I think he’s in good shape. Also note this is a poll of registered voters, not likely voters.

I don’t doubt that the race has tightened some; in my neighborhood of “Yuppie Acres,” Alexandria, I have seen a few more Deeds signs around in recent days, a sight that disappeared shortly after the Democratic primary ended.
What’s interesting is that the local Democrats don’t seem to be the least bit interested in touting or defending Deeds; some of this may reflect that most folks around Alexandria and Arlington were Terry McAuliffe or Brian Moran folks, and were never that interested in the guy from the county with no stoplights. In theory, if you can make the election a referendum on the other guy, it often works, and that’s the Democratic strategy: You’re either for the guy who wants to widen I-66 while bringing back the Dark Ages or you’re against him.

Having said that, I think most Democrats, if loaded with truth serum, would admit that current governor Tim Kaine has been underwhelming at best, and the commonwealth feels like it’s been running in place. Creigh Deeds isn’t an empty suit so much as he’s a three-piece-clad vacuum, and his term would almost certainly mean another four years of stasis.
I think if Deeds was going to win, something in the following list would have gone right for him: Sheila Johnson, NRA, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Fraternal Order of Police, the Humane Society — yeah, the Humane Society — Doug Wilder . . . The Washington Post editors and unions can only take you so far.


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